Stone County celebrates National Travel and Tourism Day
Wiggins and Stone County are all in a class of their own and they have no problem branding themselves this way.
People, pickles, paper and pines all laid the groundwork for Stone County’s development nearly 102 years ago. Stone County Economic Development Partnership Executive Director Betsy Rowell said, “(This used to be the site of the biggest pickle factory?) The biggest pickle factory in the world. After all the pines were clear cut from this area, it seems the soil is excellent for growing cucumbers and what do you do with cucumbers? You make pickles. We made lots and lots of pickles here and this is one of the things that we are known for here. We haven’t quite figured out how to make that play today, but pickles, pines, that’s definitely one of our P’s.”
It was this rich history and projections for tomorrow celebrated at the Dizzy Dean Welcome Center at Tuesday’s National Travel and Tourism Day in Stone County. “We identify ourselves as being in the middle of a lot of things. The transportation corridors are very nearby. About 20 percent of our county is DeSoto National Forest so ecotourism is important here,” said Rowell.
The county’s tourism industry is paying off big dividends. The $13.7 million in tourism money is a one percent increase from one year prior. All that money goes back into the local community for services and projects. Wiggins Mayor Joel Miles said, “As we said, it’s continued to increase the last several years by a little over a million dollars a year so that says to me we are doing some things right here in Wiggins and in Stone County.”